Costume Designer Barbara Rains and Production Manager Roy Rains are two remarkable talents at Camelot Theatre. The couple met while performing in the “Trail of Tears” drama at the Tsa-La-Gi Amphitheater near Tahlequah, Okla. They’ve been in Oregon almost two years. We chatted on the set of Camelot’s “White Christmas” in Talent.
EH: Barbara, what productions are you designing?
BR: This coming season, I will be designing all of the musicals. The next one will be “Funny Girl.”
EH: Roy, fill me in on your production manager duties.
RR: My job is to make sure that artists have what they need to realize their visions. We’re in a transition period for this position.
BR: The great thing about theater is there is so much to learn; so many things are constantly changing, that you never stop learning. That makes working in theater very exciting. I like being involved in the different aspects, which is what is great about being here at Camelot. I’m not assigned to strictly doing costumes. I’ve been in shows. They’re very supportive and very much a family.
EH: How does theater affect your family life?
BR: It does keep us fairly busy, but it keeps us well-connected. Our children have been involved in productions.
It’s also given us a chance to have discussions that have kept our communications open with each other. Theater gives you the opportunity to work with culturally diverse people and subject matter. It allows you to see other people’s situations and find out how you can relate. I think that it helps you to develop more compassion for other people and to try to understand them.
With our kids, it’s helped us have discussions that we normally wouldn’t have been able to have. It has been a gateway to learning from them as they learn from us. And we’re learning from other people that we don’t get to meet face to face, especially fictional characters; you never get to meet them. (laughter) There are situations that are common throughout the world, and you get a glimpse of where someone else may be coming from.
RR: With us, we get the chance to work together. I love that.
BR: It’s neat to be able to spend so much time with each other and to have a relationship that can withstand that kind of time together.
RR: We have similar passions. That helps.
EH: Why are some of us so passionate about theater?
BR: For me, a lot of it is the learning process, being able to learn many different things. And also the amount of research, whether it’s research for costumes or for a character: how you can dissect and get into the different levels that either create a character or create the time period the show is set in. You are seeing different slices of people’s lives that lived in those times.
RR: For me, I love the craft and I love telling the story, and I love the different variations of storytelling technique; theater gives you so many opportunities there. Any actor would be lying if they said they didn’t care about the applause. Every actor loves that. But I think at the root, it’s being part of something bigger, being part of a tribe, and that, for me personally, is what I like. It’s like in the song in “Cheers,” the television show, “You want to be where everybody knows your name,” and a theater group gives that to you.
Roy Rains will be appearing in Camelot Theatre’s “A Few Good Men” playing Feb 2-27, 2011. For tickets and information, call 541-535-5250.
Evalyn Hansen is a writer and director living in Ashland. She trained as an actor at the American Conservatory Theatre and is a founding member of San Francisco's Magic Theatre. Reach her at email@example.com.